Last we heard from Chumley's, Steve Shlopak, owner of the sadly shuttered former speakeasy—which it housed in 86 Bedford Street, currenly one of the most unstable structures in all of Gotham—was telling The Villager that he was happy about how the repairs were going, and expected to reopen Oct. 1.
That would be roughly two weeks from today. Based on a recent visit to the site, I would have to say that the chance of that happening are nil. The address looks much better than it did a few months ago. The plywood is in better shape and there's no detritus on the sidewalk. But big metal brackets yet hold up the side walls. There's still scaffolding a-plenty and netting. This place isn't opening soon any more than the Second Avenue subway is.
There's a big sign outside saying the building remains for sale. A quick couple calls revealed that the owners of Chumley's still are hoping to buy the place from current landlord and bad press queen, Margaret Streicker Porres. That's good news, I suppose. But a bad feeling in the pit of my heart tells me that, in this market, a couple guys with a bar aren't going to raise the scratch to buy a Greenwich Village building (even a crappy, collapsing one) from a greedy scofflaw millionairess.
Just thinking of all the literary ghosts currently trapped inside that sad, crumpled structure makes me spiritually ill.